Concurrent use of statins and neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy for rectal cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis Academic Article uri icon

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  • Purpose

    Statins are used primarily in patients with cardiovascular disease. More recently, they have demonstrated benefit in oncology patients. In vitro models have shown decreased rectal tumor cell viability in cells receiving chemoradiation and statin therapy. In vivo models have been less clear. This study aims to elucidate the impact of concurrent use of statins on the efficacy of neoadjuvant therapy for rectal cancer.


    Search of Medline, EMBASE, and CENTRAL was performed. Articles were included if they reported complete pathological response (pCR), long-term oncologic outcomes, or chemoradiotherapy-induced toxicity in patients with rectal cancer receiving concurrent statin and neoadjuvant therapy. A pairwise meta-analyses was performed using inverse variance random effects.


    From 1564 citations, six studies with 726 patients on statin therapy (24.5% female, age: 63.6 years) and 1863 patients not on statin therapy (35.6% female, age: 60.9 years) were included. There was no significant difference in pCR rate between patients on statin therapy and patients not on statin therapy (RR 1.23, 95%CI 0.98-1.54, p = 0.08). Similarly, no difference existed between groups in long-term oncologic outcomes (5-year overall survival: RR 1.03, 95%CI 0.86-1.24, p = 0.75; 5-year disease-free survival: RR 1.04, 95%CI 0.85-1.26, p = 0.73). Chemoradiotherapy-induced toxicities were similar between groups.


    The concurrent use of statin and neoadjuvant therapy did not significantly impact short- or long-term oncologic outcomes in patients with rectal cancer. Yet, despite pooling of data, this study remained inadequately powered. Larger, prospective studies are required to further elucidate the impact of statins on patients undergoing neoadjuvant therapy for rectal cancer.


  • McKechnie, Tyler
  • Talwar, Gaurav
  • Lee, Yung
  • Levine, Oren
  • Eskicioglu, Cagla

publication date

  • December 2021